Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Dog Don't Fart, An Epistle

I recently received this letter and thought I should share it with the rest of the world. If you're a wine blogger and haven't yet received your copy, well, you will.

Dear Blobber,

You pathetic, irrelevant, imbecilic, illiterate, bottom-feeding, sulfurous, bung-licking, nose picking, flop dicking, inbred, brain dead, wet-the-bed piece of crap.

Where do you get off questioning my ethics or the ethics of my trained seals? Without me and my publication none of you would even exist. You all want to be me! Like that's a walk in the goddamn park. Pretending to give a crap what Mark Squires thinks, wading through all that Schildknecht babble about German wines only sissies and old ladies drink, listening to Dr. Miller ramble drunkenly on about his ugly ex-wife Mrs. Miller--you think that's fun? And then spending hours adding four or five points to the scores of that Galloni guy--if I've told him once I've told him a hundred times, "People like to see high scores! Do you think they'd watch the Olympics if every gymnast received a 7.5? Would they watch 'Jeopardy' just to see Trebek's newest toupee if the contestants only won $35? Why do you think the Stanley Cup Finals are on the WhoGivesaShit Network? They have violence and nonstop action and cheerleaders with erect nipples but they have low scores! No one cares!" But he still lowballs the Italian wines, not that I blame him. They all smell like Berlusconi's fingers if you ask me.

What do you care that Squires gets a free trip to taste Israeli wines? So what? I sent him on that trip praying for a suicide bomber to get me out of the contract. Who cares about the wines of Israel? What, "Wailing Wall White" is going to set the wine world on fire? Sure, it's unfined, unfiltered, uncircumsized, so what? No way any of their plonk rates over 82 points. So what does it matter he took a free trip? All you blobbers do is whine, whine, whine. If you ask me, China has it right when it comes to the Internet. It needs to be monitored and controlled. When did free speech ever amount to anything except yokels spouting off about shit they don't understand? Hey, let's put it this way, my team's ethics are the equivalent of the knowledge and experience of wine blobbers--sure, they've got a little, but they never let that get in the way.

Come on, get off my back. I'm trying to retire anyway. But I want my little mimeographed phone book to survive me. OK, OK, I passed the buck to the wrong guys. You know that and I know that. I'm hoping that they'll get better, but, hey, I'm managing the Washington Nationals here--no, make that the Washington Generals. I got Lemons alright, just no Meadowlark Lemons. One of them comes to me and says, "Hey, Slim, I think I'm going to head off to Portugal with some guy named Symington--can you front me a couple of Benjamins?" how am I supposed to know the whole trip is a freebie? I'm in the stinkin' Barossa sweating my hairy echidnas off and tasting 100 point cough syrup with Aussie descendants of felons, I'm supposed to hold these bozos' hands? You expect a lawyer and a doctor to understand ethics. Yeah, right.

Meanwhile you blobbers are begging for free samples, printing up business cards and suckering wineries for free tastings, trying to get free tickets to wine events, going on and on about transparency but neglecting to tell your fourteen readers that most of what you know about wine you learned from Trader Joe's "Fearless Flyer," and hallucinating that consumers will one day turn to unqualified strangers on the Internet for wine recommendations. Could happen. Yeah, and my dog don't fart.

In Vino Veritas,

Robert Barker, Jr.

He's got a point.


Anonymous said...

[Indignant scoff]

So what does an attorney know about plant physiology, viticulture and fermentation science?...

Just askin' cos Constitutional Law 101 was not part of my undergrad Bio curriculum and I did not see it offered in med school either...

As for business cards: what's the obsession? It's no secret that many bloggers want to monetize their blogs - ie make them into businesses. How else will you give your pertinents to parties of interest?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Arthur,

(Polite belch)

I love the verb "monetize," which actually means to turn something into money in a literal sense, like the Denver mint. I know you mean that bloggers want to make their blogs a source of revenue. I've got no problem with that--I don't read them anyway.

I'm not at all obsessed with business cards (hey, this is a real letter, you can't make this stuff up!). But I am reminded of my restaurant days when "reviewers" would appear representing newspapers like the "Torrance Gazette" or the "Whittier Globe and Bird Bidet" and demand free dinners. We usually bounced them.

I'll lay off the business cards if you'll lay off my Hello Kitty!

Anonymous said...

Hey Ron

Well, now I know which bed you'll be taking if you visit and need to crash..... (I have my kids only part of the week).

(And I still miss the nekid womens)

Anonymous said...

Oh, and while the Torrance Gazette was a venerable journalistic institution, the Whittier Globe and Bird Bidet was a rag not worth the droppings it collected in bird cages.

Samantha Dugan said...

I want business cards...dammit, I'm doin' this whole blob thing all wrong. Maybe I should call Mr. Parker for a lesson

Anonymous said...

Whodda thunk a blog such as Hosemaster of Wine has a higher ethical standard than Robert Barker's (The Price is, after all, Right) Whine Avocado!?!?!

I view Parker's rag as merely a cheerleader for the wine business. Only wineries, importers, distributors and (if this isn't redundant) stupid, lazy retailers actually subscribe along with the same 14 readers of the Wineography blog.

Well, it's a sad revelation knowing Parker's underlings are not quite as impartial as we all had hoped. Next thing you know, we'll find out wineries submit gussied up samples to critics such as Parker and The Wine Speculator, knowing these writers are too cheap to every actually go spend a dollar on a bottle of wine.

Oh, the shame...

ANONYMOUS I (glad you're back making fun of the helpless)

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Gorgeous, (not you Anonymous 1)

You've got an actual job in the wine biz so you don't need a blog card to get into tastings for free. Plus, you've got knockers. And I adore you.

Welcome Back, Anonymous 1!

I hoped you were lurking out there somewhere. I think the whole "ethics" thing is hilarious. Ones ethics are determined by what one does, not by what one says, over and over, on the Web. I can't think of a single soul who reviews wines who has earned the right to point a finger, usually the middle one, at Parker, or anyone else. What a bunch of rubes.

St. Vini said...

You're blowing the whole lid on blogging. After all, many of these regurgitations were established in the hopes of getting some hot samples of Dancing Bull on the doorstep. Doesn't rereposting about Murphy Goode and the tremendous potential of Twitter to sell oodles of bottles constitution sufficient contribution to vinodom?

I have more to say on this, but I'm waiting for the boobies to return before I post anything erudite.


Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey St. Vini,

Man, am I glad you're back. I'm sure you have a LOT more to say on this subject. I laugh about it every day, but, then, I'm insane.

You've got a long wait if you're waiting for boobies, unless you mean blue-footed ones. The HoseMaster has retired from the nude glamour shot business. The crowd that went along with them was really odd (you should have seen the Google searches that led to my blog, and some of the comments I had to delete). And, aside from that, it took way too long to find them--I was picky about my "girls."

Great to hear from you, St. Vini. I'll start haunting your blog in return.

Charlie Olken said...

Don't call me gorgeous.

So, I go over to Steve Heimoff's blog and I find him barging in on your act, and in the meantime, Tish is going after Costco instead of laying on some of his shtick.

So, I come over here and find Sam Dugan who I used to find on Ken Payton's blog and there is St. Vini. Next thing we know, Alder Yarrow will start posting on other blogs if he can ever think of anything to say but look at me and the latest $100 Cabernet I just tasted.

It's a hard business--this blobbing. You never know where your next sample is coming from, and, by the way, Ron, if you missed out on your latest perversions of once famous labels from the Kingdom of Fred Franzia, I will be happy to send you some. I usually give them to Special Olympics (no,not the kids--the fundraisers) so they are yours for the asking.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Charlie,

I'd never call you Gorgeous. Puff Daddy, maybe, but not Gorgeous.

I find that Alder only posts on my blog if I mention his name. Usually "Your Majesty" works. He must have Google Alert set on high. In which case it helps to have a botanical name instead of a human one. I loved hearing Jon Bonne singing "Follow the Yarrow Brick Road" at a charity event once, but that's another column altogether.

Let's see, the Special Olympics. That's the California State Fair Wine Competition, right?

All of you comments are a reminder of just how pathetically incestuous wine blogging is. We are one tiny step from being eBob.

And to prove it--Nice post, Charlie!

Anonymous said...

Ron, Charlie,

No doubt that the comment section dialogue on blogs may seem "incestuous". But I think you forget the lurker factor.

Plenty of visitors come, read (post and comments) and do not pipe in.

This, then begs the question: are blog posts and the ensuing discussions like talk shows (sometimes like Charlie Rose, sometimes like McNiel-Lehrer, sometimes like AC 360, sometimes like The View, sometimes like Donahue and, yes, sometimes like Jerry Springer) and readers may be "tuning in" for the entertaining read of post and comments?

Those other bloggers commenting, then,play the role of pundits and commentators on TV shows.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Yes, Arthur, I like to think of myself as the Star Jones of wine blogging.

Abel A. said...

So when do we start talking about the wines themselves? We know that many of these so-called wine reviewers are basically wine-whores and that the 100 point scale is really a load of BS. Was it not Socrates who said, "Beauty is in the mouth of the taster." OK, maybe not, he did after all die drinking hemlock. Now there's an essence that I don't see mentioned in many wine reviews-- maybe Barker and his ilk need to "familiarize" themselves with that one.

BTW, I’m sipping a nice Peterson 2006 DCV Zin tonight. Verdict—I like it. Yes, I could write about how it has the mouth feel of a French kiss on humid night in Manila—but that’s another story which I will leave for the upcoming J. Peterman wine catalog.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Abel,

I'm just getting my feet wet again with my stupid blog, playing the Fool, but it won't be long before I'll start reviewing wines now and again. Ooooh, I can hear those tape guns going crazy at wineries as they prepare to overwhelm me with free samples!

I plan on visiting Murphy-Goode to see what their Social Media Stooge is up against. I'll be a Pinot Days in a couple of weeks tasting the latest Syrah blends. And I'll perhaps bring back my "The Best Wine I Tasted All Week" feature. I'm just doing this for the laughs, Abel, I'm not a guy looking to "monetize" his blog. Who'd pay for this crap?

I love Dry Creek Vally Zinfandel, though I haven't yet tasted the '06 Peterson. The best Zinfandel I've had from Dry Creek lately is the Quivira 2007 Old Vines Zinfandel Katz Vineyard. Wow! I think there are about 140 cases of this beauty. It's really gorgeous, strikingly rich, reminiscent of a Russian River Zinfandel with its undertones of white pit fruit, and bursting with blackberry fruit and that uncanny viney-ness of old vines Zin. It's probably only available from their website, but it's worth the search. Oh, and I love Ridge's 2007 Geyserville.

That enough wine talk?

Thanks for chiming in, Abel. Come back often and raise some Cain.

Abel A. said...


Not nearly enough; it’s like watching the tenor playing Don Giovanni clearing his throat. But I get your point. We have to listen to the overture first.
Aof their wines QAbeing Aof their plonk. (OK, so maybe I don’t need to taste their wines to criticize.)